Ensuring Your AC Runs Efficiently

Ensuring Your AC Runs Efficiently

While running your home air conditioning system is essential for keeping your family nice and cool during the hot summer months, it also comes at a cost. If you’ve ever dealt with an unexpectedly high energy bill during the summertime, it’s likely that you’re worried about how much energy your air conditioning system is actually using. Making your system as energy efficient as possible can help save you a bundle on your cooling costs.

Bust Out the Thermometer

If you want to check the efficiency of your air conditioning system, you’re going to need to get a hand-held thermostat. You’ll want to put this thermostat on the supply register that delivers cold air to your home. It’s best to utilize the supply vent that is closest to your air conditioning system equipment. In most cases, this will be the room that is right above the equipment in the basement.

Once you get a reading for the supply vent, it’s time to put the thermometer on the return vent. Give it about five minutes of letting the thermometer sit on the return vent until you take a temperature reading. You’ll want to proceed to compare the temperature between the supply register and the return vent.

There should be about a 15-degree difference between both vents. If there isn’t much of a difference between the temperature of your return vent and your supply register, it’s an indication that your air conditioning system isn’t adequately producing cold air. The air being pushed out of the supply register should always be colder than the air that’s going into the return vent.

Are There Uneven Temperatures?

If you notice that some rooms of your home aren’t getting as cool as others, it’s an indication that your air conditioning system is not working efficiently. The first thing that you should check to remedy this issue is your vents. A common mistake that many homeowners make is blocking various vents throughout their homes.

Whenever the supply vent to a room gets blocked, it’s not going to be able to deliver that cool air that you want. You should always be very mindful of your vents and make sure that you don’t put any objects in front of them, like a couch or a plant.

Does Your Airflow Seem Reduced?

Another key indication that your air conditioning system’s efficiency is compromised is that the airflow throughout your home seems reduced. Instead of just noticing fluctuations in the temperature of some rooms, you notice an overall decrease in airflow in every room. When this happens, it’s time to check your air filter to see if it’s clogged.

In order for your air conditioning system to run efficiently, it needs to have a clean air filter. This air filter works to remove unwanted pollen, dust, and other debris from the air inside of your home. Whenever this filter becomes clogged up with debris, it will cause your air conditioning system to work much harder to force air through the blocked filter.

To check the state of your filter, you’ll want to remove it from its housing and hold it up to a light source to see if you can see through it. If you can’t see through the filter, it’s time to replace it. It’s best to check your filter once a month to prevent this issue in the future.

Is It Warmer Than Usual?

If your home feels warmer than normal, it’s time to check out your condenser unit. This condenser unit is responsible for dispersing the warm air that is being extracted from your home. When your condenser unit is unable to do its job correctly, your home won’t get cool enough as your system won’t be able to get rid of your indoor heat effectively.

Any excess debris like leaves can block the vents of the condenser cover and prevent the blower inside of the condenser unit from working correctly. There should be a good 3 feet of space surrounding your entire condenser unit that is free from any obstructions. Again, checking this on a regular basis can help keep your air conditioning system operating as efficiently as possible.

If you’re still struggling with inadequate cooling after cleaning up your condenser unit, it’s time to look at the evaporator and the condenser coils. These coils are prone to accumulating dust buildup and debris. When too much accumulation happens, it makes it much harder for your air conditioning system to transfer heat. When there is an inability to transfer high amounts of heat out of your home, you’re going to be unable to keep your home at a nice cool level.

There are specific foaming agents that are recommended for this type of cleaning job. Just be sure to turn off your entire conditioning system before you clean these coils so that they can be cleaned safely and effectively. If cleaning the coils still has no effect on your issue, it’s likely a low refrigerant level, which needs to be handled by a professional.

Do You Hear Odd Noises?

When your air conditioning system is working efficiently, you should only hear the minimal sound of the motor running. When your system has problems, it will start to develop odd noises. Depending on the issue, you may hear many different types of sounds. Some of the most common are humming, buzzing, and clicking. If you hear noises, it’s time to call in an air conditioning professional to evaluate the issue further.

Is Your Unit Running All the Time?

One of the clearest signs of an inefficient AC is that the unit is constantly running. This may mean that the AC never stops, or it might mean that it’s constantly cycling on and off. Either way, the unit is struggling to keep your home at a specific temperature. In your house, you will probably find that you have a lot of temperature swings or that it never quite gets to the point of being cool when you have a constantly running air conditioner.

Have Your Electric Bills Increased?

If you are seeing an increase in your power bill, whether gradual or sudden, this is another sign that your HVAC unit is not efficient. When you look at this, make sure you are considering factors that can also increase your bill, like going from a cooler to hotter month and rate hikes from your power company. The best way to see this is to look at the bills for the same month over three to four years. You can check to make sure the average temperature was about the same (not unseasonably hot or cold) to account for some of the temperature swings. If you see a clear upward trend year after year that can’t be explained by something else, then your AC is probably declining in its efficiency.

Leading AC Service

Hansen Air Pros is here to assist all of our neighbors in Mobile with quality air conditioner services. We also provide heating, indoor air quality, and generator services. Just give us a call today to schedule your next appointment.

Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Air Conditioner

Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Air Conditioner

When summer hits, it’s time to keep the house cool with your air conditioner. But even though you might think that you know how to run your air conditioner and keep your house in a way that will optimize the cooling effects while minimizing the energy that it costs, you might want to think again. There are many ways that homeowners miss out on valuable opportunities to cut cooling costs, but we’re here to provide you with some tips for getting the most out of your AC.

Have Your HVAC System Serviced

One of the first things that you should do to cut down on energy loss is to have your HVAC system serviced. Small bits of dirt can clog up vents and filters, and minor repairs can make a big difference in the amount of energy that your air conditioner has to put out to cool the house.

Get Some Blackout Curtains

You should also think about investing in some dark, heavy curtains. No, it doesn’t always go with the breezy vibe that you’re aiming for in the summer, but blackout curtains or even just heavy, dark curtains can block out a lot of heat from the sun.

Install New Weather Stripping

You’ll be happy that you put new weather stripping around the doors and windows both in the summer and the winter. This is easily one of the best ways to save a ton of money on energy costs. A little bit of weather stripping can prevent the heat from getting in through the bottom of the doors and through the sides and bottoms of the windows in the summer and prevent the heat from escaping the house in the winter.

Don’t Cook or Do Laundry When It’s Hot Outside

Cutting down on the heat that you make inside the house is also important. For instance, don’t cook inside the house during the hottest parts of the day. Instead, you can grill outside or you can make food inside the house that doesn’t require using the stove or oven.

It is also a good idea to avoid running the dishwasher or dryer during the hottest parts of the day. A better strategy is to run them when you’re going to be away for at least a couple of hours. That way, you can program your thermostat to cool down the house a half an hour before you reach home and won’t have to worry about coming home to a hothouse.

Use Your Ceiling Fans Correctly

Using ceiling fans is another simple and effective way of cutting down on how much you have to run your air conditioner. One thing that a lot of people don’t know about their ceiling fans is that you should have them rotating in different directions depending on the season of the year. In the winter, they should rotate clockwise because of the way that the blades are tilted. This clockwise direction creates an updraft that will cause warm air to bounce off the ceiling and be redistributed throughout the space.

In the summer months, however, you should have the blades turning counterclockwise to create a downdraft that will be cooling. Additionally, you should have the blades at about a 12-degree angle to the floor, and they should be at no more than a 15-degree angle to the floor. You need at least 12 degrees to create enough air movement, but a 16-degree angle is much more likely to shift papers and other light objects.

Open the Windows at Key Times

While opening the windows during the warm hours of the day isn’t a good idea, it can be a great way to cool down the house during the night or if you have a cool day right after a hot one. This also gives you the opportunity to air out the house so that it’s not so stuffy. You can create a cross breeze by opening windows on both sides of the house so that the air flows through easily, and quite often, this will cool down a whole house in a matter of 20 minutes.

Install a Smart Thermostat

Updating your thermostat can save you a huge amount of money by helping you be more precise and mindful about when and how you’re using your air conditioning. It’s also nice to be able to turn on your thermostat or have it stay off longer just by pulling out your smartphone and making some adjustments.

When you have a smart thermostat, you’ll be able to have your air conditioner come on an hour earlier or later than what you originally set it at if you find out you’ll be coming home a little early or a little late on a particular day. This way, if you won’t be back until later, you’re not cooling a house that no one is around to enjoy, and you won’t have to come back to a sticky and hothouse if you decide to go home early one day.

A smart thermostat is also a useful tool if you have pets that you leave at home. If you go away for a weekend and leave your cats at home, you can easily turn the air up a bit if the weather gets hot. While cats aren’t as prone to overheating as dogs, they can still get heatstroke. So, if you’re worried about your cat, you can turn the thermostat to 77 degrees to keep your cat safe. The same goes for your dog, although dogs are more likely to prefer an even cooler temperature.

Change Out the Filter

You should also change your filter regularly. With all of the pollen floating around the air in the spring and summer months, people with allergies will appreciate it. And having a clean filter is also a way to reduce energy costs while keeping your home cool and protecting your HVAC system from dust that can clog components on your HVAC system and reduce the air quality in the home.

In general, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations, but you might also choose to change your filter early if you’ve had a season with a lot of pollen and other air contaminants. You may also want to change the filter more frequently if you’ve had to run your air more than usual.

Clean the Condenser

Cleaning the condenser on the outside unit is also important. You should do this at least once a season, usually toward the beginning of the summer, so that the air is flowing through the outside unit easily. Clean any twigs, leaves, and larger sticks away from the condenser, and you should make sure that the fins on the outside unit are straight because this can have a big impact on how hard your air conditioner has to work.

When you’re trying to keep the air in your house cool and clean while not running up your energy bill or overworking your air conditioner, you should employ some of these tips. You can also talk to us at Hansen Air Pros in Mobile, AL. We offer a full range of heating and cooling services, including repairs, maintenance, and installations. We can also provide indoor air quality and generator services. Reach out to us today for more information.